A one bowl soft gingerbread layer cake is stacked with a vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream, then finished with some sweater inspired piping and silver sprinkles.
Hi! Happy Friday! Popping in to share the recipe for this Gingerbread Sweater Cake with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue buttercream, which is part of a super fun collab happening today on the internet - Tessa of Style Sweet and Lyndsey of Coco Cake Land rounded up a bunch of us and challenged us to make cakes inspired by sweaters! You can check out the hashtag #sweaterweathercakes on IG to see all the other amazing creations!
I am bringing this wee gingerbread dude to the party, with piping inspired by one of those glitzy sweaters you often see people wearing around the holidays (the ones with the beads sewn on). I kept the actual cake and buttercream super simple, with a gingerbread cake that is a layer cake version of this cake from my friend Brooke’s book, and then a Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The cake comes together super easily in one bowl, and is soft and spongy with the perfect amount of ginger and molasses - perfect for the holiday season!
I finished the cake off with some sweater inspired piping, which I was a little worried about, but turned out to be super, super fun! I practiced a bunch of times on a piece of parchment paper before I piped onto the cake, which worked great as I was able to get the hang of the designs before I went in for the real deal. You can just scrape the buttercream off the parchment paper and back into the bowl when you are ready to go.
I hope you give this one a go - tag me if you do, I can’t wait to see your creations!
A few wee tips:
These are the cake pans that I use! I have three, which I highly recommend - it is much easier to bake three layers and level them off than try and cut a cake in half.
I made the layers ahead of time and wrapped them tightly and froze for a few days until I was ready to use. Cold cake makes it a little easier to work with and frost, particularly for this recipe as the cake recipe is beautifully soft, so something a little more solid is much easier to work with when you are stacking.
I used two different french star tips - Ateco #862 and #866, a small open star tip, and a small round tip
I practiced a bunch of times on a piece of parchment paper before I piped on the cake. I also used a metal cake scraper to draw some lines on the cake to give me something to follow to help keep things in line.
I made the cake in a bowl with a whisk because I love doing that where I can, but it works great in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment too!
A one bowl soft gingerbread layer cake is stacked with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, then finished with some sweater inspired piping and silver sprinkles.
Gingerbread Layer Cake
- 320g All-Purpose Flour
- 200g Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 300g whole milk
- 170g unsulphured molasses
- 90g Canola oil
- 2 large eggs
Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 190g egg whites
- 300g sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 700g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
GINGERBREAD LAYER CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and line 3 6” cake pans with parchment paper rounds.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Add milk, molasses, oil, and eggs and whisk well to combine. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans (I prefer to do this by weight). Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake the cake layers for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the centre springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
VANILLA BEAN SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- Place the egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl.
- Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Once the buttercream is smooth and silky, switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.
- Level off the cake layers. Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream. Add about 3/4 cup (I use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop to measure) of buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream.
- Repeat the layering process - I like to put the last one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat.
- Crumb coat the cake - to do this, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smooth with a bench scraper or icing smoother. Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes, until the crumb coat has set.
- Cover the cake with a second layer of buttercream, smoothing off the top and the sides. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Fill piping bags fitted with the tips of your choice with the remaining buttercream (see notes)
- Pipe a ‘sweater’ design onto the cake - I did a range of blobs and then ‘cable’ inspired piping (using the french star tip and the open star tip). I found it easiest to use a cake scraper to give me a vertical line to follow to help stop things from getting too wonky. I also added in some lines of silver sprinkles.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before eating.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cake Recipe from “Cake: Layered, Frosted, Sliced and Shared”
Keywords: Gingerbread Cake, Layer Cake, Sweater Cake